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With the size of the hard drives installed in computers today, you could store literally thousands of files on one disk. Even with the best file management system, locating a single file can be daunting. Learning how to use the tools that help you locate files is one of the most important skills you can master. WordPerfect has a great collection of tools that can help you locate files so that you don't have to start another program to do a search.

Listing Files by Type

When you have a lot of different types of files in a folder, limiting the number of files in the list can be a big help. One way to accomplish this is to display only a specific type of file in the list. For example, if you display only WordPerfect documents in the list, it's easier to find the file you are looking for.

By default, the file type is set to All Files, so you will see every file saved in that folder, whether or not you can work with that file in WordPerfect.

To display only a particular type of file

  1. Click the File Type drop-down list arrow to display the list of file types (see Figure 3.5).

  2. Choose the type of file you want displayed in the list, such as WP Documents (*.wpd) or Microsoft Word (*.doc).

  3. When you are ready to see all the files again, select All Files (*.*) from the File Type drop-down list.

Figure 3.5Figure 3.5 After you select a particular file type, only those files appear in the file list.

Listing Files by Modification Date

One of most popular methods is grouping files by modification date. Most people can remember when they worked on a document faster than they can remember the name of the file. The fact that you don't have to be exact about the time frame helps. The list of options includes This Week, This Month, Last Week, Last Month, and so on.

To display a list of files by modification date

  1. Click the Last Modified drop-down list arrow to display a list of general time frames (see Figure 3.6).

Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 Grouping files by modification date is a popular way to locate files.

  1. Either type a specific date in the Last Modified text box or select an option from the list.

  2. When you are ready to display the complete list of files again, open the Last Modified drop-down list and select Any Time.

Back Up Important Files Regularly

If you have ever suffered through a hard disk crash, you don't need to be told how important it is to back up your data. Imagine how you would feel if all of a sudden, you couldn't get to any of the files on your computer. Avoid a potential disaster by backing up your important files on a regular basis. Use the Last Modified option in the Open File dialog box to display only those files that you have modified within a certain time frame, and then copy those files onto a floppy disk or CD for safekeeping.

Searching by Filename or Content

Last, but certainly not least, is the capability to search for files by the filename or by the file's contents. Some of us can remember a filename, or at least a part of the filename, but almost everyone can remember something about the contents of a file. Whether it's a client name, a project name, a technical term, or a phone number, all you need is a piece of information that can be found in the file.

To search for files by filename

  1. Type the filename, or a portion of the filename, in the File Name text box.

  2. Click Find Now. WordPerfect searches through the files and builds a new list based on the search. When the search is complete, the Find Now button changes to a Back button (see Figure 3.7).

  3. When you are ready to switch back to the full list of files, or if you want to start another search, click Back.

TIP

You can also search for text in a document by typing the word or phrase in the File Name box and following the steps provided. This is a bit confusing, I know. Just remember that you can search for text in a filename, or text in the document itself, using essentially the same steps.

If you start a search in a particular folder, WordPerfect searches through the files and the subfolders in that folder. This is especially helpful when you can't remember exactly where you stored a file.

Figure 3.7Figure 3.7 When you search for files, WordPerfect builds a new list of files that fit the search criteria.

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